The State Emergency Service (SES) is a division of the Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

When natural disaster strikes or emergency situations arise, over 2,000 SES volunteers are ready to assist the community with a wide range of services.

This can involve emergency repairs to buildings, removing fallen trees, ferrying cargo and passengers in flood waters, and assisting with air search observations, land search, flood water rescue and cliff rescue.

State Emergency Services Volunteers also have excellent working relationships with the other emergency organisations regularly providing support to WA Police, Bush Fire Services and St John’s Ambulance Service.

In remote areas where Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) is unavailable, State Emergency Services Volunteers are also responsible for the difficult task of extricating people from vehicles involved in road crash incidents.

Not all of the WA volunteers work in the front line of emergency response, many work diligently behind the scenes in radio or computer operators, in support roles or incident control, planning and logistics.

SES volunteers also actively promote safety education, prevention and preparation measures in visits to service groups, scouts and cubs, local business and schools.



Canning State Emergency Service was inaugurated in 1984.
csp-hist01The Unit initially met at the Canning Town Hall in George Street, then transferred to the old Post Office Building on the corner of Albany Highway and Ashburton Street.

This building was used for approximately 10 years. Because of no outside parking areas for the unit vehicles, they had to be picked up each training night from the Canning Depot and returned there at the end of training. All Equipment had to be taken out of the trailers and stored in a storeroom at Ashburton Street.
In February 1994 Canning SES together with the City of Canning applied for a Commonwealth Grant and premises were built at the Canning Depot, part of this building is shared with the Council workers.

South Perth joined with Canning to support the unit in the early 90’s, by providingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA additional finance and the donation of a reconnaissance utility vehicle. The units name changed to ‘Canning / South Perth SES Unit to reflect the additional support.

In June 1997, a task force was established by the Western Australian Government to look at ways of improving planning and coordination of the State’s emergency services and following their recommendations, the Fire and Emergency Services of Western Australia (FESA) was created as a department under the Public Sector Management Act on 1 January 1998 as an interim arrangement.

One year on, FESA was formally established as a statutory government authority replacing the Fire Brigades Board and the Bush Fires Board and with its establishment the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS), Bush Fire Service (BFS), State Emergency Service (SES), Volunteer Marine Rescue Services (VMRS), Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS), Volunteer Fire Service (VFS), Volunteer Emergency Service (VES) and the Emergency Service Cadets (ESC) where brought together, under one board and one Chief Executive Officer (CEO).


While we now had a change of leadership business continued as usual and from November 2004 through to March 2005 the Units premises where extended and fitted out to provide space to house the ‘Flood Rescue Boats’ and the replacement to the well used reconnaissance utility, all of which where previously stored out in the weather.

April 2005 saw Canning South Perth celebrating it’s 21st Birthday, and reminiscing it’s operational record including involvement in the Moora Floods, the Exmouth Cyclone and the South Perth Tornado of 1995.

On 1 November 2012, as a result of a recommendation from the Perth Hills Bushfire Review 2011, our leadership changed once more as FESA was restructured into government department, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, headed by a Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner.

Two years on saw Canning South Perth officially celebrating its 30th birthday on thecsp-hist04 9th November 2014 with an afternoon of reminiscing with John McGarath MLA representing the Minister of Emergency Services and the City of South Perth, members from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services including the Commissioner, Mr Wayne Gregson and plenty of unit members both past and present. John McGarath MLA presented life membership awards to three volunteers Valerie Donovan, Irwin Davey and Peter Austin while Commissioner Wayne Gregson APM presented a plaque to Andrew Bray, the Local Unit Manager for 30 years of service.

And while the next phase of our history may well be a change of location, the Volunteers would like to thank the Cities of Canning and South Perth for the support they have provided over the last 30 years because without it we wouldn’t be here today supporting you when you need it.


In order to respond effectively during call outs members are provided a wide range of training which includes:

  • Storm Damage Techniques
  • Flood Rescue
  • Missing Person Search
  • Ground Support for Fire Services
  • First Aid
  • Map Reading and Navigation
  • Radio Communications
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Observation from Aircraft and Supply Dropping


Our unit has the following responsibilities to respond to

  • Storm 
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Missing Person Search
  • Fire Support